Kansas City Public Schools fighting teacher shortage with incentives

Rebecca Crockett
August 28, 2019 - 4:00 am

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Kansas City, MO - There may be a nationwide teacher shortage, but there's a few incentives to help fill the gap. It's hitting harder in some areas more than others, specifically in science, math, and in special education. Monica Landess, talent acquisition and performance manager with Kansas City Public Schools says in order to fill those gaps, they've been working closely with Lincoln University in Jefferson City to get a grant established.

"We send our students down there. They'll be going through an educational program with STEM, and then they'll teach for us back here," explains Landess.

She says there in a high poverty district that offers incentives to teachers. Because they're a title one district, if they work for the school for fiver years they qualify for the loan forgiveness program

Landess says they've been working closely with Universities so they know how to better prepare future teachers for title one schools. Those right for the position, according to Landess, "Need to be able to let things roll off their shoulders easily and not take things personally."

Kansas City Public Schools had all their positions filled at the start of the year. Landess says one of the ways that was possible is with the Teach for America program that prepares graduates with degrees in other areas who want to work in education. 

"They take them through a fast track in which they take them over the Summer where they go through all of those pieces, and then they come back to us after that summer and they're ready to go into our classrooms," says Landess.

She says this often works for teachers in foreign language and special needs departments. 

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